Head vs heart … Mind, Emotion, Love …

As someone who has always had a locus of control over life and the choices I have made, I hate being surprised with emotions and feelings that throw me off centre and I struggle to deal with the chaos that follows. 

I always believe that the mind and the head should play a role in decisions of your heart but often times, I am conflicted as I just want to go with the flow and let the heart lead the path to whatever has to follow. 

“If your head tells you one thing, and your heart tells you another, before you do anything, you should first decide whether you have a better head or a better heart” 

  • Marilyn vs Savant

What is the context of this in leadership? I have said this before and I say it again, leadership is mostly about EQ or emotional quotient and has a lot to do with people skills and the ability to take people along on the journey. 

When you are faced with the quintessential dilemma of head over heart or vice versa, there is no readymade formula for what works. But there are ways to arrive at the best way to tackle this and that is with knowledge, insight, expertise and presence of mind and at times just common sense. 

Whatever the outcomes that you want to drive, be it organisational and business goals, people engagement, you will need at your disposal a strong sense of rationale and the ability to see the wide angle perspective and put yourself in the other persons shoes so you can think from their point of view as well. 

Some people naturally lead from their heart while others use their head. But neither approach is absolute without the other. It needs to be contextual to the situation and relevant in delivering the outcome you will need. 

A nice blend of the two will give you the ability to drive business with positive and healthy relationships. It is proven that behaviour is shaped by emotion and being in tune with that can be leveraged for impact. 

When you use the head or the mind: 

  • Structure, strategy and business form the backbone of this style
  • Planning, actions, tasks, processes are the driving force
  • Goals and expectations and getting things done take precedence

When you use the heart: 

  • This is people centric leadership and revolves around them
  • Relationships, behaviour and engagement drive people towards business outcomes
  • Empathy, respect, compassion and other values are ingrained into this style 

There is usually a high probability that you belong to one of these schools and are used to leading with that style. 

How do you balance the equation? Better head leadership: 

  • Widen your work spectrum with better planning, strategy, tasking and prep
  • Work on both strengths and weaknesses and keep a tab on progress
  • Own up to failure and learn with every experience
  • Stay confident and aware of what is happening around you 

How do you balance the equation? Better heart leadership: 

  • Work on your people relationships and show them that they are important
  • Treat people like they matter to you and make this wholehearted
  • Be positive, empathetic, real and approachable so they seek you out
  • Invest in building genuine interest in people and be a great listener and coach 

It’s good to build and work on leadership styles constantly so you know where you stand, and you get to learn and experiment with what works best for you. 

So, next time you have a head over heart or a heart over head situation, just sit down and walk yourself through or write out the pros and cons and weigh them and let your gut and your head with a dash of the heart lead you to your decisions … 

Shreya Krishnan
Vice President - Marketing and Communications at Anviti Insurance Brokers
Shreya is a CSR Specialist and Corporate Grooming Consultant. Her interests lie in Activism, Dance, Theatre, Poetry, Blogging, Modelling, Acting. She considers herself an Earth Warrior and is an Event Anchor and Trainer. She is a Pageant Winner and public speaker.

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